DEADPOOL VERSUS THE PUNISHER #2
Writer: Fred Van Lente
Penciller: Pere Pérez
Colorist: Ruth Redmond
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino
Release Date: 4/26/17
These Versus series that Marvel do are an immense amount of fun. Oftentimes they are contained within their own universe and things happen, but do not become part of canon. Deadpool Versus Punisher is no different. The book remains true to both characters while bringing you along for a fun read featuring a number of interested parties, not all of whom are upstanding citizens. When you do these types of stories right, they stay with the reader forever. That said, Fred Van Lente, Pere Pérez, and Ruth Redmond are creating a Punisher story that will stick with me forever.
Plot: After performing brain surgery on Wade Wilson with a Glock .45, Frank Castle is on the hunt for the real killers of the Bank’s family, as Deadpool thought Frank was the one who planted the bombs. The hunt leads to some interesting revelations, but Deadpool Versus Punisher also introduces Kingpin — murdering three men without explanation — and shows that Roxxon and Wilson Fisk now have a vested interested in this and the tension is rising.
Story: Van Lente definitely isn’t trying to fool anyone with these issues, at least not with the basic plot. An intelligent reader can piece together a lot of what is going on at a rudimentary level, but the layers are fully in place. It doesn’t matter if you know what happened to the family, there are seven other things you don’t know. There is still plenty to play out and if any of these third parties get involved, a lot more bodies are going to drop and the count is pretty high already.
Art: Remember last week when I said that a lot of Pere Pérez and Ruth Redmond’s work is reminiscent of Steve Dillon? The facial expressions in this issue would make Dillon proud if he were still with us. They are a wonderful compliment to the story and help move it along during the dialogue between action. I don’t know the personal dynamic between these three, but this issue will have you firmly believing that they are a family.
Van Lente, Redmond and Pérez put together Deadpool Versus Punisher like they are all on the same page and are all trying to pay homage to Steve Dillon and Garth Ennis among other, but they also are trying to make this book their own. This series is alive and talking to the reader because of the art. I would love to sit down with Pérez or Ruth and ask if this was intentional or if it just happened as a result of being an avid reader.
Verdict: Deadpool Versus The Punisher is moving along at a steady and healthy speed. Each issue breathes life into the supposed rivalry of the title. The book is also a great visual experience for those who have read an obscene dose of Frank Castle. How the series pays off is something only time can answer, but this book is definitely worth picking up if you’ve already read the first. If you haven’t read the first, this book will just be confusing. . — JW
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars